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Posted August 21, 2006 by publisher in US Embargo

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Rob Sequin | Publisher | Havana Journal

This is not a fully thought out concept but here’s what recently dawned on me.

The Cuban American exile community has always wanted Fidel Castro to be the President of Cuba.

Think about it. Why would they back the failed Plan A Embargo for more than forty years? It has never worked and they were never open to any Plan B. They know full well that Fidel Castro has always used “El Bloqueo” to rally the Cuban people in support of Fidel’s policies. The Embargo has kept Fidel Castro in office for 40+ years.

I think the answer is that they have wanted Castro in power so they could buy access to the President of the United States. Cuban exiles have made large contributions to every Presidential candidate since Kennedy, democrats and republicans (I don’t have the facts though) so they could have the President’s ear when elected. Florida is such an influential state and Cuban Americans are such a large voting block, all Presidents and candidates for President have had to listen to them.

There is also another reason that the Cuban American exiles wanted Fidel Castro to stay in power. Money. Miami and many organizations in Miami gets LOTS of US government funding to study and encourage regime change in Cuba. LOTS of USAID and government funding for educational institutions.  This money trickles through the entire community of Miami. The end of the Embargo will mean the end of funding to encourage “regime change” in Cuba.

One more reason is tourism. When Cuba is open to US tourists, how many will pass by Miami and spend time in Havana. My answer is LOTS. The entire state of Florida will see a decrease in tourism and tourist dollars because many who would go to Miami for sun and fun will go down to Havana.

One more reason is real estate values. Miami investors will look to Havana for investments in real estate taking dollars away from investments that would have been planned in Miami. Also, what happens when Miami residents start selling their homes in order to move to Cuba?

One more reason is immigrants. How many Cubans will want to come to Miami after the Embargo (and Castro in this case)? What will they bring with them? The shirts on their back for the most part. That means that the city of Miami and the residents will have to take care of the immigrants causing a financial strain on the city.

So, what happens when Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and the Embargo are all in the history books?

1. No more Presidential election influence from Cuban exiles.

2. No more aid to Cuban exiles.

3. Loss of tourism revenue to Miami and the entire state of Florida.

4. Drop in real estate values and investments.

5. Increase in spending to accommodate the new Cuban immigrants.

I’m surprised that I have not thought of this earlier. Seems so obvious as the end of Fidel Castro and the Embargo comes to an end.

So, in my opinion, the Embargo has really always been about political power, government aid, tourism and real estate values in Miami and ultimately all of Florida.

Secretly and under their breath you can hear all of Miami saying “Viva Fidel”.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on August 22, 2006 by d lopez

    This is absurd. For starters, the reason Cuba lives under tyranny is not the US embargo as Castro and his supporters would have us believe. Cuba can buy anything they wish from the rest of the world, as well as medicine and agricultural products from the US. These products are sold to foreigners, never reach the populace, and only serve to enrich the tyrants.  This fact has not thus far created an aperture towards freedom and likely never will.
    The reason Cubans live under tyranny is the repressive methods used by the dictatorship to crush any hopes of expressing any type of free thought by the people of that imprisoned island. Furthermore, the anti-US embargo rhetoric only serves to popularize Fidel, and stir anti-US sentiment.
    Once Cuba is free, I suspect Cuban Americans in the US will continue to take an interest in politics, and remain participatory, law abbiding citizens, as should be. There is no secret yearning by Cuban Americans in general for the destroyer of their country to remain in power for another second. All they and everyone else, hope is for a people to be set free, in order to have a voice in how they conduct their lives, and are able to have dreams and aspirations.


  2. Follow up post #2 added on August 23, 2006 by Eleggua

    You are insulting every Cuban who was forced into exile or had to flee his country.

    You really think we want OUR people suffering like they have been suffering for 47 years now?


  3. Follow up post #3 added on August 24, 2006 by Yoan

    Your logic on this is so twisted that it’s not even possible to debate you on the merits of your assertions.


  4. Follow up post #4 added on August 24, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    When it comes to the 45 year failed Plan A embargo, the only thing that can possibly make sense is twisted logic.



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  5. Follow up post #5 added on August 24, 2006 by La Ventanita

    Publisher, let’s see, pain, hurt, anger, and morals come to mind. 

    Would you really want your new country to trade with the SOB that killed members of your family ruthlessly, laughed in the face of your pain, and took what little you had gained with your work - possibly a residence, maybe your business? 

    Would you really want to trade with he who’s responsible for you not living in your country anymore? Not being able to visit your parents at their graves, or your grandparents, not having been able to take with you pictures and have so many memories and heritage lost; having to go back to the University and re-study your career at fifty something so you can make a living b/c you can’t get the info to get the credits transferred.

    Honestly, the only twisted logic here is yours.


  6. Follow up post #6 added on August 24, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    La Ventanita,

    I am very familiar with the 1960s in Cuba from a historical perspective but I wish that the Cuban exiles would move on. That was over 40 years ago.

    As far as not being able to go to Cuba, you can thank the old Cuban exiles who run the Embargo for that one. Cuba is happy to see Americans.

    Also, not all Cuban exiles are squeaky clean. Most people who made money in Cuba in the 1950s were tied to the mob directly or indirectly.

    I hold to my claim that the Cuban exiles want the Embargo in place. Just think how much money organizations and the Miami area would loose in grants, donations and revenue.

    Do you really think that CANF wants to go out of business? No.



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  7. Follow up post #7 added on August 25, 2006 by La Ventanita

    Publisher,

    My parents even if allowed, do not want to go to Cuba.  They don’t want to give that bastard one penny of their very hard earned money.  Heck yes the Cubans want the embargo in place, but not for your reasons.  My parents couldn’t give a s**t about CANF or politicians, or anybody else.  It’s easy for you to tell them to move on - you didn’t loose what they did (go to this link to get an idea of what Cubans lost: http://wallstreetcafe.blogspot.com/2006/04/world-is-actually-bigger-than-you.html).

    “Most people who made money in the 1950’s were tied to the mob” - to say a statement like this you must define “made money”.  My father worked his ass off since he was 13 to survive and to be able to have his own business - a restaurant by the time he was 21.  He “made money” he was single, own business and a car to “cruise” around and pick up girls.  He was not “tied to the mob directly or indirectly”.  You cannot generalize or make such assertions without defining “made money”

    Also, many people who “made money” were also in grace with Batista, so they were corrupt and not necessarily tied to the mob.

    CANF is an organization.  It doesn’t necessarily represent the interests of ALL Cubans. 

    I’m not saying Cubans don’t want the embargo in place - some do, and you’d be surprised to know some don’t.  But I stand by my argument that your logic is twisted and your arguments are far too generalizing.


  8. Follow up post #8 added on August 25, 2006 by MiamiCuban

    Publisher:  I do have to say that I respectfully disagree with some of the things you mention above, although I DO AGREE with what you have to say about the embargo.  I think the exiles fear they will be financiall hurt if the embargo is lifted, so even knowing that it hurts the Cuban people directly, they’ll continue to support it even after Castro is gone from the scene.  Once the embargo is lifted:  a) the political groups in Miami will no longer receive federal funding for their anti-castro propaganda; b) many people will travel to Havana instead of Miami, thus taking money away from local hotels and restaurants; c) their worst fear may come true….that Cuba will prosper under socialism; d) local businesses where exiles purchase clothing, etc., to send to Cuba will be impacted; e) local radio stations who live off anti-castro propaganda will feel the effect as well; f) cuban-american politicians will lose their “power”...i.e. no more Elian-style rallies to unite the right-wing community.  In essence, the entire identity of the Cuban exile community as a “united force” will disappear.


  9. Follow up post #9 added on August 25, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    MiamiCuban,

    Thanks for the comments. They support what I said. What do you disagree with?



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  10. Follow up post #10 added on August 25, 2006 by MiamiCuban

    For one thing, I’m not sure about the part about investing in real estate in Cuba, since Cubans in the U.S. would probably not be thrilled with the new laws of the Cuban government.  In other words, they can’t go in and buy up lands and exploit other Cubans, as was the case prior to Castro.  There are laws in place and I don’t think they’ll go away (Fidel and Raul may one day leave the picture, but I think Cuba’s form of government will continue, with changes of course, but it won’t be what exiles are probably thinking).  Also, I really doubt they’d ever say under their breath “Viva Fidel”—-I’ve seen the hatred these people have inside them, I’ mean the real foaming-at-the-mouth type stuff (my father’s cousin died of a heart attack, and I’m sure it was during one of his anti-Castro tirades!).  Also—-I don’t think it’s that the exiles “always wanted Castro to be president of Cuba”——maybe at first, but not after their wealth and their capitalist fervor was on the line.  They’ve simply found a way to capitalize on the situation and began raking in the funds from the federal government…now they’d like to perpetuate that.  I do think, however, that many are simply nostalgic for their past and want to return to the same Cuba they left behind, and they’re the ones who fall victims to the Cuban politicians who only foment their hate.  And finally, I misread your post——- I thought you had said there would be MORE tourism in Miami, when in fact you had said LESS.  My mistake, sorry.


  11. Follow up post #11 added on August 25, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    MiamiCuban,

    Thanks again for your post.

    1. “I’ve seen the hatred these people have inside them, I’ mean the real foaming-at-the-mouth type stuff (my father’s cousin died of a heart attack, and I’m sure it was during one of his anti-Castro tirades”

    I didn’t mean to diminish the pain suffered by the old Cuban exiles. I would be very pissed off at a Fidel Castro too. So, let me clarify that the old Cuban exiles for the past couple decades have said “Viva Fidel” under their breath. In the 1960s and 1970s the Embargo was justified. Today it is a joke and hundreds of thousands of people now benefit from making last as long as they can.

    2. “They’ve simply found a way to capitalize on the situation and began raking in the funds from the federal government…now they’d like to perpetuate that.”

    Right. Interesting that I have not read that anywhere before I started this post.



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  12. Follow up post #12 added on August 25, 2006 by La Ventanita

    You guys are so off.  Do you not understand you cannot generalize?  You cannot bundle all exiles together?  Do you even know all the exiles?

    You are talking about politicians, please make a distinction.  If you guys, including you MiamiCuban, think this is about lost property to everyone you are so wrong.  And it is clear you didn’t read my post.

    Go ahead, and keep your opinions…but know that they are erroneous because you are generalizing to a majority the behavior (or what you think are the motives) of a minority.


  13. Follow up post #13 added on August 29, 2006 by Ralph

    The motto of the vast majority of cuban-exiles are “We want to be Free’, b/c
    the majority of them want be what they could be without interferences.-
    When you want to pose the topic ‘Emigration’,Publisher,I and other for sure
    could debate over,howerver I profit to get one fact about ahead now,economical factors are part of the reason which drags drove of humans
    to go to nowhere,but bad economical conditions is dependant on the government in place,generally the corruption is rampant,the cronysm, and
    all in between,so at the end of the day they flee indeed,for the very bad political structure,so they are pure political reason in a few of immigrants and
    in the vast majority of them there is a mixed reason,economical,but political too.Any failure in the well-being of its citizen is a washout for any government,
    that is true since the beginning of ages.


  14. Follow up post #14 added on August 30, 2006 by Ralph

    Ventanita: You are rigth but wrong.When you say a few,if not the vast
    majority of the cuban-exiled,here in Europe and there in America,which is
    well known as the safe-haven of cuban-exiled,la calle 8 con el parque M.
    Gomez,which is called for everyone,as a domino-park are there not for
    lost properties,you say utterly right,But if you reckon with having the
    right of saying freely their thoughts out of the castro-code without being
    imprisoned or dismissed as a precious lost property for them,then you are
    wrong.


  15. Follow up post #15 added on September 01, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Seems that my theory is starting to get around.

    Check out this news story at

    Most of $80 million in aid for democracy in Cuba will stay in U.S.

    Who wants to give up $80 million just so Cuba can be free? Not the old Cuban exiles!



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  16. Follow up post #16 added on September 01, 2006 by Curt

    I think attrocities in Cuba have been greatly exxagerated in order to benefit the exile community and have the U.S government feel sorry for them. After all , Cubans have been treated better than any other immigrant group and look at all their political clout. They even dictate our policy towards Cuba which only benefits them, not Cubans living on the island. Great article, it made lots of sense!


  17. Follow up post #17 added on September 03, 2006 by Jorge

    I think you have some valid points. In my opinion, the reason the hard line extremists in Miami keep on supporting the failed embargo, is because hope is the last things that a person loses. They keep on hoping to turn back the clock of history to the pre-1959 era so they can go back to their life-styles of privileges and exploitation.

    I agree that “anti-Cuba” and “abajo Fidel” are very lucrative businesses in Miami.


  18. Follow up post #18 added on September 09, 2006 by Rune

    The big suprise is that the Publisher is suprised by his own thought and new theory, sinse it is old facts that it has always been in the economical interest of the US and the cuban-americans to keep Fidel in power. The embargo is the only reason why Fidel is still able to rule, and so, ironically, the cuban-americans have responsability for makeing their relatives in Cuba suffer for decades. The US embargo is a great shame to both the cuban people and to US, but as always US economical interests rules over moral or logic in American foreign policy. Lift the embargo now!


  19. Follow up post #19 added on September 13, 2006 by Beentheregottheteeshirts

    Without question the GOP has continued to lie to the American public and continue to foster the embargo simply to hold on to at least 3 GOP controlled House seats and pump millions of dollars into the community thru those seats to continue to foster an anti Casto and GOP control at taxpayers expense. 

    The reality is that the Diaz-Balart family still holds a serious grudge, and truly expects to return to Cuba as returning heros.  What they don’t understand is that they were not well liked in the 50’s and no-one wants them back now.  Washington and Miami have convienently forgotten an important democratic principle,  that the Cuban people living here now, should and will have a voice in any new government , unless we follow the Iraq principle simply remove the old guard an ” try” to replace it with a new infrastructure, unfortunatly it hasn’t worked there and won’t work in a post Fidel, Raul,  Cuba

    The only hope for a peacefull, tranquil and natural transition in Cuba is to
    end the embargo, allow all Americans full access to Cuba, allow Cuba and the Cubans who have a natural attachement to “capitalisim” to flurish. Cuba will make a natural transition to a capitalistic, socialistic state.  This will allow Cubans in Cuba to return to a capitalisitc driven economy with minimal disruption to the country and it’s system.  The Bush program as proposed , will leave open a festering sore only to be filled by discontent and failure.

    Need proof points,  The former Soviet Union or China - open the door and allow capitialism in, and watch what happens ...

    Been there, got the tee shirts


  20. Follow up post #20 added on September 29, 2006 by Richard Mcburney

    i think your right.i’ve said the same thing for years.the “exiles” say they love usa but yet spit in our faces with the flying of cuban flags.i saw a kid (21 yo) on tv say he’s “cuban"1st american 2nd..hell i’ve been to cuba more than he has.they are just bideing their time until they can go back to cuba and say f you usa


  21. Follow up post #21 added on September 29, 2006 by Richard Mcburney

    the gop lies?????? and clinton was what??? a democrap.I know you hate America and the gop but this embargo was started by who???? a democrap.this game with cuba has gone on through many administrations dont blame the gop.by the way im not a republican,just so u know


  22. Follow up post #22 added on November 24, 2006 by cookie ortiz

    Most of my friends in Costa Rica go back n forth to cuba n love it. There are also many cubans who move back to their Island for Medicine, school, education, room n board and food is free. If I could go there as a u.s. citizen I would gladly. Cuba does not interfere withour way of life, no matter how corrupt we have become. i also know that not one child ges to bed hungry there as in the states and it is one of the safest places in the world. Lets clean up our own mess first efore interfering in other countrie’s way of life. Amen? Amen!!!!


  23. Follow up post #23 added on December 03, 2006 by Captain Cuba

    Amen to Cookie Ortiz. As a canadian citizen we love to visit Cuba 3 or 4 times yearly and stay in our casa in Matanza.  Yes, it is true what Cookie says,  ” Island for Medicine ”  Just ask the U.S.A. medical students that are there now learning to become doctors. Just ask Jimmy Carter who visited with these students when he was in Havana.  And , yes, we love it when our cuban amigos visit with us from Miami and Matanza.  AMEN!!!!


  24. Follow up post #24 added on December 06, 2006 by Varsi Padayachee

    Sadly, there will all be spew, misinformation and falsehoods that will always dominate this debate. Firstly, the embargo was US initiated, and has become far more oppressive during this admin. All is not right in Cuba. There has to be change, simply because Cuba has much to offer the world in the field of sciences and medicne, and let us not forget its Beautiful culture. However, oppressive sanctions will not see an opening of Cuban society, but rather a “circle the wagons” mentality. Does the average Cuban see the Cubans in Miami and the US Govt. as their saviour? Absolutely not. The Cubans are keen students of history, and they remember the days of serfdom, the Mafia control of the businesses, the Burnett Bill, and ofcourse the life of misery they led under those who regale a glorious life style in Miami.
    Now, how many children go hungery in the US? In Cuba, as meagre as the ration is, none!
    How many children and disenfranchised has the US provided, en masse, medical care for?
    Education is free in Cuba! What does it cost in the US?
    In the US, we still have arguments about dicrimination in housing, job opportunities, education! Is that the case in Cuba?
    Perhaps, those who are so vocal in their opposition to Cuba under Fidel, and support the continued santion oppression of the people of Cuba, should take the time to research Cuba, and its history, and not rely on the self serving arguments like the Miami Mafia.
    As a nation we will be served better if we put aside our blinding hatred, and seek a posture that can open dialogue with Cuba, perhaps achieving the goals that the sanctions could not achieve!


  25. Follow up post #25 added on December 15, 2006 by juan

    This is a joke, anyone that believes that Castro wanted any tourist money from Americans just have to ask “Why is it that every time an American President seriously thinks about lifting the ‘embargo’ with Cuba, then the Castro brothers screw it up for ‘themselves’ and Cuba” Just ask Mr. Carter about the Mariel fiasco and then Mr. Clinton about the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. Apparently, the Castros don’t care about the meddling Americans on “their farm” called Cuba. Watch what happens now if the Congress seriously calls for better relations. I bet we’ll have another shoot down or boat-lift. The Castros don’t want Americans in Cuba, it would just cause them a lot of trouble. They can control the small numbers that travel illegally now, but if the doors were opened, the Castro brothers know that they couldn’t control the situation. Not to mention that what would they do with the always “subversive” Cuban-American exile in the US, they would have to have some control on that travel. What would they say, WASP Americans are welcomed but not “gusano” American citizen with Cuban ancestry could be free to visit, like they control now. Everybody, don’t kid yourselves, the Castros DO NOT want Americans to go to Cuba, it’s the only way for them to stay in power, period. The Castros will do anything to make sure they keep the so-called Embargo. Right now, it has caused them a lot of headaches to buy American food stuff and medicines since they have to buy it with cash. They just want to be able to buy on credit guaranteed by the US taxpayers so they don’t have to pay for anything they get, like they have from Europe for so long. That’s why European nations now want to have the same ‘cash and carry’ system that we have.  They have loss millions of $$ to the Castro Cuba.  Really, do you think it’s cheaper to buy from the U.S. or from the rest of the non-embargoed world. Medicines are much cheaper in Mexico or Canada or any place other than the U.S. So does the “embargo” keep the Cuban pharmacies empty, I think NOT. It’s just that the rest of the non-embargoed world is demanding payment right now (except for Venezuela) and the Castro brothers know that if they cry enough the politics in the U.S. will eventually give in and grant credit to them so they can put it away in their Swiss bank accounts like they have since 1959. None of these products go to the populace, but rather to the paying tourists.  Believe me, if the Castros wanted the “embargo” lifted it would of had it a long, long time ago, but, that is what keeps them in power, period.


  26. Follow up post #26 added on December 15, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Juan,

    Great post. Thanks for the insight.

    I appreciate the perspective from Castro’s side but what do you think about the old Cuban Americans privately saying Viva Fidel so they can hold on to their power?



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  27. Follow up post #27 added on December 15, 2006 by juan

    I’ve never encountered it at all.


  28. Follow up post #28 added on December 15, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Wouldn’t they lose all their USAID and other government funding along with the political power in the swing state of Florida if the Embargo was lifted?



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  29. Follow up post #29 added on December 15, 2006 by juan

    We don’t care about that.  What’s important is Cuba and our people.


  30. Follow up post #30 added on December 18, 2006 by Varsi Padayachee

    Juan, I do find it rather interesting that you considered my posting a joke.  I have been told that I do not have the aptitude to carry a joke. Now I have proved the nay sayers wrong.
    Now, respective to the shooting down of the “Brother”, plane. This was an act of provocation, and from all reports it was shot within Cuba’s air space.  Secondly, when the US has a policy of encouraging Cubans to leave the “farm”, the consequences must be accepted.
    Respective to Cuba wanting a free ride. Perhaps, the US Govt. should give Cuba all of its “frozen” money. This does not belong to the US taxpayer, but rather to the people of Cuba.  Perhaps, instead of rhetoric, a little perspective might be in order. The Europeans are spinless. They will do anything that the US wants them to for fear of the repurcussions. Let’s take the WTO. It is supposed to be a body of “fair play”, yet it has allowed the US Govt. to sanction “Havan Club”, distilled by Bacardi, to be sold in the US, given that the brand is the property of the Cuba. You see the WTO is even afraid to confront the US of its policyies of paying the coffee farmers in Ethopia below poverty prices, while reaping billions off the backs of these farmers. or perhaps we should look at the situation between the US multi-nationals and the poor banana farmers of the Caribbean.
    Another baseless point is the assertion that once the embargo is lifted, the Castros will send the monies to Swiss Accounts. You know, Forbes Magazine made the very same accusation, based on their theory of probability. However, when Cuba offered an examination of the books, Forbes went off like a uppy with its tail between its legs.
    I have been in this world long enough to understand the thory ofEconomic Terroris, and the US is the greatest proponent of this policy, which brings the non-aligned to their knees, while enriching friendly leaders. Do you remember Pinochet, Noriega, the former leaders of Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, et al.
    There is iareality to life not all is wrong, or right. Therefore he soltion forward, should always be an open mind and a balanced approach.


  31. Follow up post #31 added on December 18, 2006 by juan

    Well, you can call it provocation or whatever but the planes of BTR were in International Airspace and flying away when they were shot down.  Now, they had on various previous occasions flown over Havana and dropped pro-Democracy leaflets, but this time that was not the case.  They could have been shot down over Cuban airspace anytime before, but there had been no talk of lifting or easing of their self-imposed “embargo”. 

    Varsi, with regards to the frozen assets belonging to the Cuban government in the U.S.  You’re talking of about $800 million in gold bullion that backed Cuban currency maintained at that time in Fort Knox, Kentucky.  (This is currently worth around $32 billions)  The other is property seized by the U.S. Government belonging to Cuban Government and private entities.  This amounted to an additional $5 billion in 1962 dollars.  This was in response to the confiscation of American owned property in Cuba before 1962.  This property mainly belonging to American companies and private citizens that had their property “nationalized” (seized) without payment as required by international law.  A country can exercise “eminent domain” on property owned by its own and foreign citizens after exercising proper due process and equitable payment for same.  The Cuban government had the means to adhere to this at that time and no “embargo” would’ve been necessary.  But, the Castros figured that theft of private property was OK and the U.S. would not do anytime.  So what you propose is that it is OK for any foreign government to steal American-owned property and to not have to face any repercussions.  One of the main duties of the U.,S. Government is to protect and defend Americans and their properties wherever they may be situated.  And guess what, if your property had been seized, you would definately have contacted your elected representatives and asked them to do something.  That’s exactly what happened when the “embargo” started.  It is no different if I steal your car and 20 years I come and ask you for a loan to pay for its repair and then not paying back even that loan.  You would just laugh at me or call the police and have me arrested for stealing your car. 

    As far as the Havana Club trademark, it never belonged to the Cuban government, it was owned by the Josè Arechabala since 1878 (not the castro dictator) and then sold to Bacardi later.  So I don’t see what you are talking about.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havana_Club

    And as far as the Swiss acounts is now mute as the Swiss banks have ceased dealing with Cuban accounts, they have been transferred elsewhere.  See http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=CN&storyID=2006-11-12T154605Z_01_L12896242_RTRIDST_0_FINANCIAL-SWISS-CUBA-UPDATE-1.XML&rpc=66&type=qcna  http://www.nysun.com/article/30062 and I figure that the Swiss banks do not want to be involved in a free and democratic post-castro Cuba’s search of the Castros blood money.  It took the Castro propaganda machine 4 days to publish a response in only their foreign language internet editions of the Granma Communist daily of their response of the closing of these accounts.  The Spanish edition has been mute about the matter.  I wonder why??.  http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2006/noviembre/vier17/48banco.html  European and other international banks have followed the lead of the Swiss banks, so I guess something has been running amuk, maybe recent large deposits into those accounts by scared (and getting ready to run) Cuban officials and Castro family members had something to do with it. 

    I can go on and on (and with references, since I see you say things, but with no backup)  I googled your name and, wow!, you have definately published a lot of interesting articles on the WWW.  I hope I can enlighten you a bit more with regards to the Cuban situation.  I’m here to help you and not just spill more ill-founded propaganda.


  32. Follow up post #32 added on December 18, 2006 by juan

    Just remember Varsi and publisher, the “embargo” only is around as long as the castros want it.  It IS to their advantage only.  Even if the U.S. unilaterally lifted it, the castros would not change there positions.  The DO NOT want meddling Americans there, period.


  33. Follow up post #33 added on December 18, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “It IS to their advantage only.”

    I understand that Fidel has used it as a crutch for many years but now the PEOPLE of Cuba want change and I think Raul will have to open up the economy which would probably mean talking with the US. I think he will have to do this if he wants to keep his job.

    Also, I strongly believe that the old Cuban exiles want it to so they don’t lose their US aid and power.

    Thanks for all your information.



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  34. Follow up post #34 added on December 18, 2006 by juan

    Publisher, remember, Cuba as run by the castros is a feudal system.  The monarch being fidel and now his brother raulita.  Do you think that in their repressive-, and now more repression than the recent years, type of monarchy that they could care anything about their serfs (the Cuban People)??  They can talk all they want and even the US unilaterally lifting the embargo and travel restrictions won’t change anything.  When fidel made is famous “Armas para que” (Firearms for what) speech and he disarmed the serfs he ensured continual power through his lords and dukes (the military, police and intelligence establishments).  Even President Abraham Lincoln during his second inaugural address, stated that the citizens of the United States had a REVOLUTIONARY duty to overthrow the government if it no longer serves the people.  That’s the difference here, if the castros had allowed an armed populace, they would’ve never lasted a year after 1967.  Thats when their honeymoon period ended.  But, he ensured that he was able to have the populace register their weapons and, later by force and public executions, take the weapons from the populace thereby ensuring their stranglehold to power.  That is all the former-King Fidel I and now-King Raul I have maintained power.


  35. Follow up post #35 added on December 18, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I guess what I am trying to say is that Raul’s Cuba will be different than Fidel’s Cuba.

    I think the Cuban people have more access to information, directly and indirectly than they have in the past and information leads to change.

    Information is not just telephones, radio and television anymore. It is also cellphones, internet, satellite, CDs and other storage devices that can shared.

    I get the sense that the people gave everything to La Revolucion but now they are getting a taste of La Revolucion 2.0 and that involves Raul, Alarcon, Lage, Perez Roque et al AND the United States.

    Let’s look forward to La Revolucion 2.0 and put La Revolucion 1.0 and Fidel in the history books.



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  36. Follow up post #36 added on December 18, 2006 by juan

    That sounds like a deal, let’s put “La Robolucion 1.0” (The Theft 1.0, in English) Publisher.  But “La Robolucion 2.0” is no different just stalling the inevitable.  The liberation of the Cuban People.


  37. Follow up post #37 added on December 18, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    That would be La Revolucion 3.0

    Don’t understand Robolucion comment. Are you saying that is my version of La Revolucion as I see it? (assuming you know my name is Rob)



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  38. Follow up post #38 added on December 18, 2006 by juan

    No, not at all, Rob.  I hadn’t even realized your name was Rob until I scrolled to the top and saw your name.  Sorry about that. 

    Robar is the Spanish verb for robbing, stealing, theft, etc.  I just wanted to emphasize that in Cuba what happened is not a revolution (defined as a new, untried thing) since having a monarchy is not a new political or power idea, it’s been a long, long time.  Whereas, what happened in Cuba with the castros in power has been an organized raping of the economy, the second or third largest in the western hemisphere before King Fidel I took over to the second from the bottom now, increasing his personal wealth from upper-middle class in that pre-1959 society to omnipotent and richest of tryants in the world today.


  39. Follow up post #39 added on December 18, 2006 by Varsi Padayachee

    Juan, Yes, I am an student of world affairs, though not just restricted to Cuba. I should be flattered that you took the time to “google”, inquiring into my writings. Thank you. However, I suspect your version of enlightenment is, perhaps, your, point of view. However, my definition of enlightenment is one that looks at issues without prejudice, but rather taking the issue as a whole, and parsing out both the good and negative, resulting in a fair a balanced view point. I do thank you for your offer. However, my enlightenment comes in the form of meeting affected people, listening to their points of view and then making up my mind. Perhaps, given your bile towards the Castros, any contrary point of view, is labelled as propoganda.
    I was one of those who lived and breathed under the repressive Nazi Govt. in South Africa. There is a common belief, especially in the US, that Apartheid affected only the Blacks. Of course all this came from our erudite and informed media.
    I have come to the singular conclusion that you are severly anti-Castro, and canot entertain a divergent point of view.
    Again, thank you for your generosity, but bile and spew are not part of my cultural make up


  40. Follow up post #40 added on December 18, 2006 by Juan Gonzalez-Piloto

    Varsi, I didn’t make any conclusions from my google search other than like you say, you seem to be a concerned person for the oppressed in the world and I highly commend you on that.  I, too, am a student of people and talking to people is one of my favorite pasttimes.  I further commend you on being able to have lived and breathed the apartheid government of South Africa.  I also believe that the change, and true revolution of the people of South Africa was long overdue and I know that it didn’t just affect Black South Africans.  But like you said this all came from having an informed media, something that is definately not in the equation of the cuban monarchy.  I have a question is not my point of view allowed or to be heard?  Just wondering.


  41. Follow up post #41 added on December 18, 2006 by Varsi Padayachee

    Perhaps, my brand of English is not your strong suit. My reference to an ERUDITE and INFORMED media was not complimentary to the US media. It was an expose of their spineless coverage of affairs, as long as it fits in the US foreign Policy, and US Foreign Policy was not kind to us in South Africa. My point is, to be informed, one needs to balance all points of view. However, discussions are moot when one party refuses to consider that there might just be another plausible point of view. After a half a century, and having travelled to a large portion of Latin America, much of Africa, and lived and studied in Europe I am not naive to believe that everyone is going to be sympathetic to my perspective. However, despite our disagreements, I have often found people more open as soon as they discard their jaundice..
    Respective to South Africa, I do not know what informed media you reference. If it is the South Africa media, they were an extension of the Govt. If you reference the US media..my question to you is WHAT Media? Have you had an opportunity to take a close look at the media in the US?


  42. Follow up post #42 added on December 18, 2006 by Juan Gonzalez-Piloto

    So you’re saying that a media that’s an extension of the government is good???


  43. Follow up post #43 added on December 18, 2006 by Juan Gonzalez-Piloto

    Here’s what George E. Curry, editor-in-chief of NNPA News Service and BlackPressUSA.com, is the former editor of “Emerge: Black America’s Newsmagazine.” http://www.blackpressusa.com/op-ed/Speaker.asp?NewsID=2371

    OP-ED
    Reporting on Cuba’s ‘Reporters’
    by George E. Curry
    NNPA Editor-in-Chief

    HAVANA—It was a progressive idea. A delegation of Cuban journalists would host more than a dozen African-American journalists, many of whom would be seeing Cuba for the first time. This would be our chance to see Cuba for ourselves.

    The brainchild of syndicated columnist DeWayne Wickham, the journalists would hold joint panels to discuss journalism in our respective countries and learn more about one another. The sessions, held here at Marti International Institute of Journalism, were going along well—for a while.

    In his opening remarks, Wickham described the adversarial relationship in the United States between journalists and government officials, one in which the media serves as proxy for the public by closely scrutinizing—and even questioning—the actions of elected officials.

    If any of us were momentarily lulled into believing that these were our counterparts, that impression was quickly shattered when several declared that they had supported the Castro revolution in 1959 and view their job today as helping those in power.
    I cringed. These are not journalists, I thought, these are government public relations agents. Actually, I was more derisive—I called them “flacks.”

    Regardless of how they tried to spin it, they work for the state-owned media—TV, radio and newspapers—and they spew the official line of Fidel Castro.

    It’s not that I didn’t know in advance that these were not, in the true sense of the word, journalists. But hearing them say they were there to support the revolution underscored just how different we see our roles.

    One of them, Ulise Estrada Lescaille, director of “Revista Tricontinental” magazine, prides himself on that association. In his magazine, he writes fondly of his “Days with Chë [Guevara]” in 1961. At the time, he says he was “second in command of the MOE (department of Special Operations for Cuban Intelligence).” Oliver North wasn’t the first to switch from the military battlefield to the propaganda-filled commentary.

    When the so-called journalists in Havana spoke, it was as if each were reading from the same prepared statement. “We’re all Cubans,” they would say over and over, denying that race is an issue in Cuban society.

    Yet, speak to any dark-skinned person on the streets of Havana and once they’re convinced that you are not a government official, they will admit that both color and class remain staples of Cuban society. Of course, the same is true in the United States.

    Like many communist countries, there are strict limitations placed on what one can write and say about the leader of the country. At home, we can openly question George W. Bush’s intelligence but here, it unlawful to be disrespectful of Castro.

    Clarence Page, a former colleague who worked with me in the Washington bureau of the Chicago Tribune, and I visited with some real journalists in Havana who say they cannot publish dissenting opinions without the risk of getting thrown in jail. They told us of constant harassment, and how it’s illegal to have a fax machine in the home without government approval.

    If they seek to cover a public function, some said, it is not unusual to be picked up by police, only to be driven miles away and by the time they can return to the site, the event is over. Still, most of them are not lingering in jail.

    As bad as things are in Cuba, they could be worse. I have friends in Beijing who cannot access news sites in China. Despite the government crackdown in Cuba, some government opponents manage to operate fax machines. If they can gain access to the Internet at a legal place, such as the hotels frequented by foreigners, news sites are not blocked.

    In many respects, citizens in Cuba have a better opportunity to gain access to the outside world than in China, whose gross human rights violations are placed on the backburner as the U.S. seeks a more normalized relationship.

    Looking at repressive governments, especially when away from home, makes one appreciate the beauty of the First Amendment, which protects free speech, the right to assemble and freedom of the press. Although Attorney General John Ashcroft is seeking to undermine many of the freedoms we take for granted, the U.S. Constitution is a unique document. We tend to take it for granted—until we see the alternative.


  44. Follow up post #44 added on December 18, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Okay folks,

    We are off topic now. I appreciate the dialog but this thread was started to focus on Cuban Americans and their secret desire for Fidel Castro to live a long life as the President of Cuba.

    I have read many good points but I like to keep threads relevant all the way through so let’s take a break and stay on topic.

    Thank you.



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  45. Follow up post #45 added on December 18, 2006 by Juan Gonzalez-Piloto

    Well, Rob, my point is that the Cuban-American community does NOT have a secret desire for former-King Fidel I or now-King Raul I to live any life at all and the only desire is for a free, democratic respectful Cuba.  The only persons benefiting from the monarchy is the communist oligarchy in power.


  46. Follow up post #46 added on December 19, 2006 by Varsi Padayachee

    To the Publisher. Thank you for providing a vehicle that allows all points of view to have their say. Against the backdrop of a rather servile, spineless and compliant medi, Havana Journal certainly restores one faith in a fair and balanced forum. It is rather ironic that the topic Cuba has to be the one issue that has provided this vehicle. However, a quick read of the US media certainly illustrates what news reporting should not be. Given the on-line availability of fair and balanced (so pun intended) news from around the World, one sinks further into a black hole of despair when wants our media to be just that, MEDIA, and not a mouth piece for the right wing agenda.


  47. Follow up post #47 added on December 19, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Varsi,

    You are welcome. What we try to do here is screen out the right and left extremes and provide a forum for people to discuss the most recent and relevant issues.

    We select third party news stories that we believe will inform the majority of Americans that know little about the beautiful island to our South.

    I wish we were able to offer more “actionable intelligence” as comments. We are working on that.

    So, as it says at the top of every page… Read. Discover. Understand.



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  48. Follow up post #48 added on March 01, 2007 by edward with 65 total posts

    Publisher

    Fantastic forum, for anyone wishing to understand the dynamic of Cuban/American relations, read and learn.

    Ed


  49. Follow up post #49 added on March 30, 2008 by Mike E Velli

    As a Cuban American living in Miami, I would have to say that I whole heartedly agree with your opinion. I have seen these scum, ie Lincoln Diaz Balart (He happens to be Castro’s Brother In Law FYI), Illeana Ros Lehitnen, Sergio Pino (Owner of Century Home Builders, Us Century Bank, etc), and many other Cuban American Elite who have made their careers, and MILLIONS of USD in spending the last 50 years being an enemy of Castro. I happen to come from a very simple family who spent many years contributing to these organizations only to find out that this is exactly what they were doing. Perpetuating a war in order to gain monetarily from its US Backers. We have since ceased our annual contributions to these theives as they really do no want to see an end to any of this.

    Sadly many of those who are getting “had” just do not like to see or hear the facts.


  50. Follow up post #50 added on March 30, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Thanks for sharing that information. We just posted an article about how USAID funds may have been misused with ties to Frank Calzon’s Center for a Free Cuba.



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